Sports

Gold Pride looking for home field advantage

 

FC Gold Pride tied the Chicago Red Stars, 0-0, on Saturday night before 2,470 fans at Pioneer Stadium in Hayward.

The first-place Pride (12-3-3) has already ensured clinched a spot in the playoffs but needed a win to clinch a home game.

"Every season has some ups and downs and obviously you want to peak at the end when you're going into playoffs and working toward a championship," Pride Captain and Stanford grad Rachel Buehler said. "Now we have things to work on and sort out before playoffs. It also puts pressure on the defense to make sure that we don't let up a goal and I think that's really important for us to deal with that pressure before heading into playoffs."

The Pride pressed the Red Stars defense in the second half but was met with resistance. The Pride controlled much of the last 25 minutes of the match.

In the 81st minute, Christine Sinclair put the ball in the back of the net on a perfectly served free kick from Marta, but the goal was waived off after a foul was called on FC Gold Pride in the box.

Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, also a Stanford grad, and the Pride defense showed why they're the best in the league with a 0.77 goals against average, earned their second straight shutout.

Offensively, the Pride was shut out marking the first time this season the best offense in WPS has been shut out of consecutive matches.

With an opportunity to clinch a home playoff game, the Pride return to action Saturday, hossting the Washington Freedom at Pioneer Stadium at 7 p.m.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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